At this point, your winery is doing well. Wine lovers are showing up, enjoying the tasting room experience and signing up as club members.
But sales could always be better.
In the United States, direct sales account for 60% of winery revenue — meaning direct-to-consumer sales in the wine industry is important more than ever.
If you are brainstorming new ways to attract visitors, you’re on the right track. The more visitors your winery has, the more money your winery will make.
Tours and tastings are already a natural pairing. But to encourage more visitors, you have to increase the frequency of visits. To do this, you can take the standard tour and split it into several others.
What do I mean by this?
Packages. Your winery will benefit from offering packages.
Visitors want a unique experience — one they aren’t likely to find anywhere else. Most vineyards offer tours and tastings. So make your winery stand out and offer something extra.
Create a package for a unique experience
A wine tour is often a must-do activity for a traveler’s trip to wine country. When someone visits a region known for its vineyards, they’re crazy not to visit one.
For your winery, being just another stop on a wine tour isn’t always ideal. Your wine is more difficult to remember after sipping so many others.
More quality time is needed to nurture a relationship with your customers. Which means, your winery has to be the main reason for a visit.
So draw them in with an experience they can’t resist by pairing a wine tasting with an activity.
Wine tasting is fun…but so is rock climbing, surfing, mountain biking and kayaking. People partake in these activities regularly.
Of course, these adrenaline-packed activities aren’t the best idea while drinking wine. However, you can start by spinning ideas off of them.
For instance, here are some package ideas — I think they’re pretty grape:
- Sunset yoga and wine
- Wine barrel painting class
- A bike tour through the vineyard
- Canoeing with Chardonnay
- A wine massage — ointments made from grapes and herbs
- Paddleboarding for Pinot
As a bonus, you’ll attract locals looking for a fun weekend activity.
Of course, it’s always nice to convert visitors into club members — so as people book these packages on your website, they’ll stumble upon one that’s quite intriguing. What is it?
The Exclusive Member Experience Package — give a visitor more than a taste of your wine, give them a taste of membership benefits.
Booking this package, a visitor will get an insider’s look into the Reserve Room for a tasting experience offered only to club members.
They’ll enjoy a seven-course pairing meal, which includes seven reserve wines and seven artisan bites, prepared by your winemaker and executive chef.
With soothing background music, and a view of the vineyard, it’s the five-star treatment they’ll be wanting to have again and again.
But make sure to keep the sales pitch at bay. The experience alone should be enough to win them over — or wine them over.
Even if they aren’t from the area, they’ll benefit from a club membership. As they receive two bottles of wine each month, they’ll be reminded of their wonderful trip to your winery and may consider taking another.
Offer a full experience
Covering other aspects of a traveler’s trip is another way to make your winery the main stop. After all, they need to eat, sleep and relax. Why not do it all as part of your winery tour experience?
When you partner with other businesses in the area, you’ll create a wine tour worth booking. The traveler will love experiencing what else the local region has to offer.
Here are some additional features you can offer with your wine tour:
- Accommodation – find a nearby cute hotel or rustic bed & breakfast for your tour guests to stay. Since your vineyard is driving distance from the city, they’ll be inspired to stopover for a couple of days and make the most of their time in the country.
- Food – for most people, the best part of wine tasting is the food pairing. In the tasting room, offer a premiere option catered by local businesses specialized in food like chocolate, cheese or baking. Or provide a restaurant visit as part of the tour — one your winery currently supplies.
- Transportation – it’s a valid concern. A wine tour involves a day full of drinking (not everyone spits), and your visitors will want to get back to the hotel safely. Calling a cab isn’t classy, so offer a free shuttle service.
Merge a fun package with a full experience and create the perfect wine getaway!
Make an unforgettable tour experience
No matter what, you’ll want a visitor to remember your tour and tasting positively. Even if you’ve created a fun wine tasting package, they aren’t likely to recommend it to others if they had a poor experience.
Your winery prides itself on quality, so the experience should be the same. Don’t forget the basics:
- Knowledgeable & passionate guide – your guide is the face of your winery because they get the most one on one time with your visitors. As such, they should be both educational and enthusiastic.
- Exceptional service – everything from a welcoming arrival to friendly servers in the tasting room will make for an enjoyable time. Treat everyone like a member, and they might become one.
- Remember the details – whether it’s a logo glass to take home or a discounted bottle of wine, a customer will appreciate the little details.
- Be flexible – everyone has a different idea of what the perfect wine tour and tasting looks like. Maybe they want more time in the vineyard. Or maybe it’s the tasting room. Don’t rush the tour and ask when they’re ready to move on.
- Show the facility – grapes don’t magically turn into wine — so why would your tour only include two aspects of the wine industry (the vineyard and tasting room)? People love learning how things are made. By giving them a behind-the-scenes look, they’ll remember your winery for better teaching them about the winemaking process.
Now that you’ve created a wine tour and tasting worth booking, there isn’t a better riesling to learn about online bookings.
Previous Chapter: How to Increase Revenue with More Visitors
Download: 34 Ideas for Tour and Tasting Packages